The wall has been unpopular with most Americans, polls have shown — and some Twitter users also weren’t feeling Villa’s look on the awards show red carpet

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February 10, 2019 07:46 PM

For singer Joy Villa, the Grammy Awards have become an opportunity to make a political statement — and stir up controversy.

This year, Villa wore barbed wire, put stakes in her hair and carried a purse with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to support his proposal for a border wall between Mexico and the United States. Her dress featured the black outline of bricks.

“I believe in building the wall to protect our southern border,” Villa, 27, told the Los Angeles Times on the Grammys red carpet on Sunday night in L.A. “Not to keep people out, but to protect the citizens of our country. I’m part Latina, I’m black and I believe in what the president’s saying. This to me is a representation of that.”

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The wall has been unpopular with most Americans, polls have shown. The president instigated a historic shutdown of the federal government over his call for wall funding, which Congressional Democrats rejected. Eventually Trump conceded as his approval rating sank during the standoff.

Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

Some Twitter users also weren’t feeling Villa’s look.

“She’s wearing a barbed wire dress in support of a racist wall,” Lauren Crosswell tweeted. “She a terrible person.”

Added Jazzmyne Roberts: “We dont need to pay attention to Joy Villa.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Grammys coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

Another user accused Villa of wearing her polarizing look to attract attention to her music.

“Joy Villa thinks that we’ll stream her music if she comes dressed in some hideous trump gear,” @rougesouls wrote. “You’re wrong baby. Go home.”

User @naturalsmiles_ shared a similar sentiment, tweeting, “Joy Villa is clearly someone who loves the attention she gets from her polarizing views. No one buys her music so I guess she needs the air time to get herself noticed.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Joy Villa is clearly someone who loves the attention she gets from her polarizing views. No one buys her music so I guess she needs the air time to get herself noticed</p>&mdash; Blackety Black. (@naturalsmiles_) <a href=”https://twitter.com/naturalsmiles_/status/1094749706578731009?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 11, 2019</a></blockquote>
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Villa responded to naysayers on Instagram.

“’Shut up!’ They said. ‘Stop talking politics!’ They yelled. ‘Sit down you don’t matter!’ They insisted. I don’t listen to haters. I listen to truth,” she wrote on Sunday, arguing that “building the wall will cut down crime, protect children from being trafficked and stop the 1 in 3 women from being sexually assaulted tying to get through illegally.”

Echoing the president’s own claims, Villa wrote that “it’s a humanitarian crisis. I support life. I support protection. I SUPPORT THEWALK!”

Desi Designs Couture designed Villa’s dress and put out a statement on Instagram claiming that the look doesn’t reflect the designer’s political alignments.

“DISCLAIMER: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by my clients are not necessarily the same as my views, thoughts, and opinions,” Desi wrote, adding of Villa, “It has been an honor to create her look for the red carpet today!”

Villa at the 2018 Grammys.
Mike Coppola/FilmMagic
The singer at the 2017 awards show
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Villa has a history of supporting conservative views on the Grammys red carpet. In 2017, she showed up in a blue dress with “Make America Great Again” written on it. And then in 2018, she wore a white gown with a fetus on it and carried a purse with a message that read, “Choose Life.”

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Glam rocker Ricky Rebel also took a pro-Trump stance with his look on the Grammys red carpet this year, showing up in a blue jacket embossed with the phrases “Trump 2020” and “Keep America Great” over a white shirt.

Rebel, who identifies as bisexual, has received backlash from the LGBTQ community for supporting Trump, who has pushed anti-LGBTQ policies such as a ban on transgender people in the military.

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards are broadcasting live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

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